Rare colour photos of Finland during World War 2 show the reality of war in a way that black and white can’t.
We’ve all learned about World War II, whether reading about it in a history textbook or hearing stories passed down from a grandparent. We’ve also seen photos, grim black and white depictions from a time that doesn’t always feel entirely real to younger generations. The stories and photos become far removed from the vivid reality that is war, with many people today forgetting that those shown in black and white were real people who fought and suffered. And that’s precisely why colour photographs are so important. Colour photographs were a rarity at the beginning of WW2, with Kodachrome only making its way into use in the mid-1930s. However, rare examples of colour shots do exist, and they are nothing short of spectacular.
If you’re a WW2 history buff, you’ll want to take a look at the photo archives of the Finnish Defence Forces, which spans the years 1939-1945. With over 160,000 photos and videos available online, it’s an excellent place to discover both black and white and colour photos that depict everything from soldiers during their downtime to the devastating effects of war in Finland. We’ve browsed the collection of over 800 color photos and chosen a few of the most interesting ones to showcase here, along with English translations of the original captions. We encourage you to head over to SA-Kuva to check out the rest of them — this vast collection is an incredibly valuable addition to history and is absolutely worth a look.
(*Note: pilot balls were used for observing meteorological conditions and checking wind currents)
All image credits go to SA-Kuva. Be sure to head over to the site and check out the rest of the collection. Clear your schedule, because there’s a good chance you’ll spend hours looking at their amazing content.